Targeting Orthosteric and Allosteric Pockets of Aromatase via Dual-Mode Novel Azole Inhibitors.

Jessica Caciolla, Angelo Spinello, Silvia Martini, Alessandra Bisi, Nadia Zaffaroni, Silvia Gobbi, Alessandra Magistrato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Breast cancer (BC) is the most diffused cancer type in women and the second leading cause of death among the female population. Effective strategies to fight estrogen responsive (ER+) BC, which represents 70 rely on estrogen deprivation, via the inhibition of the aromatase enzyme, or the modulation of its cognate estrogen receptor. Current clinical therapies significantly increased patient survival time. Nevertheless, the onset of resistance in metastatic BC patients undergoing prolonged treatments is becoming a current clinical challenge, urgently demanding to devise innovative strategies. In this context, here we designed, synthesized, and performed in vitro inhibitory tests on the aromatase enzyme and distinct ER+/ER- BC cell line types of novel azole bridged xanthones. These compounds are active in the low μM range and behave as dual-mode inhibitors, targeting both the orthosteric and the allosteric sites of the enzyme placed along one access channel. Classical and quantum-classical molecular dynamics simulations of the new compounds, as compared with selected steroidal and nonsteroidal inhibitors, provide a rationale to the observed inhibitory potency and supply the guidelines to boost the activity of inhibitors able to exploit coordination to iron and occupation of the access channel to modulate estrogen production.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)732-739
Number of pages8
JournalACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2020


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